Elements of Radiance Sutras Meditation

To practice meditation, engage one or more of your
senses, the more the merrier.
Welcome the surprising and ever-changing flow of sensations, instinctive impulses, emotions, mental movies, internal sound tracks, and you meet each perception with skill. Give each impulse the kind of attention it needs and is calling for. Be your natural self.

Senses - Indriyas, the companions of the divine
  • vision (color, motion, b&w, peripheral and focus)
  • hearing (external and internal)
  • smell (400 types of scent receptors, perhaps a trillion odors, 80% or more of taste)
  • taste (sweet, salt, sour, bitter, umami)
  • touch (light touch, pressure)
  • pain (cutaneous, somatic, visceral)
  • mechanoreception ( balance, linear acceleration, joint position (proprioception), kinaesthesis, muscle stretch); temperature (heat and cold)
  • interoceptors - blood pressure, head blood temperature, blood oxygen content, cerebrospinal fluid ph, plasma osmotic pressure, thirst, artery-vein blood glucose difference (hunger), lung inflation, bladder stretch, full stomach.

Shaky, trembling, throbbing, shivering, queasy, wobbly, dizzy, spacey, breathless, flowing, tingling, twitchy, burning, radiating, buzzing, itching, prickly, hair standing on end, goosebumps, magnetism, tenderness, tight, sore, achy, melting, bruised, glowing, shimmering, congested, thick, blocked, tense, tight, knotted, constricted, unwinding, relief, orgasmic, softening, draining, light, heavy, warm, fluid, floating, dissolving, undulating . . . to name a few. These come & go.

Instincts - Svarasa, instinct for self-preservation
Exploring, trail making, patrolling boundaries, protecting loved ones, gathering, hunting, forming teams, homing, nesting, resting, sleeping and dreaming, socializing, bonding, mating, playing. The instincts are impulses that flow through bodies to lead us into life and heal us.

Emotions - welcome all bhavas and rasas
Love, devotion, sexual love, (or storge-affection; philia-friendly love; eros-sexual and romantic love; agape-god love or unconditional love); Anger, fury, sorrow, compassion, fear, horror, disgust, aversion, astonishment, wonder, awe, humor, peace, serenity. Or, MAD SAD SCARED PEACEFUL JOYFUL POWERFUL.

On average, college students read 450 words a minute (and professors read 675 wpm.) 450 wpm is around 7.5 words per second. So your brain is just cruising along at 7 or so thoughts per second. In meditation, there is no need to slow down. Just let everything move at its own natural speed. During meditation, it’s okay to “have a million thoughts going in all directions.”

Styles of Attention - Be as loving and com-passionate as you can
Interest, welcoming, surprise, delight, adoration, tender acceptance, embracing, warm engagement, noticing, clinical witnessing, observation, suspicious vigilance.

Rhythms of Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Activation
During meditation, the body-mind system oscillates between deep relaxation and release of tension. Relaxation feels like AHHH and tension-release feels like OUCH and OOF and WHEW. Both phases are necessary for healing.

8 R’s of Meditation
Each R may call for a different style of attention: tending, befriending, embracing, encouraging, welcoming, giving space, holding tight.

Essential Skills
  • Allow your attention to be enticed so that you are attending with no effort whatsoever.
  • Know where you are in your rhythm and honor that.
  • Know what you love and make that your mantra, so that you will be called to return.
  • Select the style of attentiveness that works for the situation.
  • There are tens of thousands of variations and different meditation techniques, select the one or half a dozen that work for your life, the way you are now.

We are continually called to improvise because each moment of our life, including in meditation, is novel. Design your style of meditation to suit your nature, your loves, and the rhythm of your daily life.

Most people need some one-to-one sessions and skilled coaching to devise a meditation practice that is healthy and
suits their individual nature. It generally takes about ten sessions of one-to-one and group instruction to internalize these skills. which come into play moment by moment, several times a second. Because meditation is basically invisible, even advanced meditators and teachers don’t know what they are doing.

About Lorin Roche, PhD

Lorin began meditating in 1968 as part of physiological research on meditation at the University of California at Irvine. His undergraduate degree focused on the skills of teaching meditation, his Master’s degree focused on the dangers of meditation, and his doctoral research was on the language of meditative experience. He is the author of
Meditation Made Easy, Meditation Secrets for Women (with his wife, Camille Maurine), and The Radiance Sutras.

Lorin teaches several styles: Instinctive Meditation, Pranava Meditation, Freedom Meditation, and Radiance Sutras Meditation.

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